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An assessment of big data for official statistics in the Caribbean: Challenges and opportunities

Abdullahi Abdulkadri, Alecia Evans and Tanisha Ash

Studies and Perspectives – ECLAC Subregional Headquarters for The Caribbean from Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL)

Abstract: The data revolution for sustainable development has triggered interest in the use of big data for official statistics such that theUnited Nations Economic and Social Council considers it to be almost an obligation for statistical organizations to explore big data. Big data has been promoted as a more timely and cheaper alternative to traditional sources of official data, and one that offers great potential for monitoring the sustainable development goals. However, privacy concerns, technology and capacity remain significant obstacles to the use of big data. This study makes a case for incorporating big data in official statitics in the Caribbean by highlight the opportunities that big data provides for the subregion, while suggesting ways to manage the challenges. It serves as a starting point for further discussions on the many facets of big data and provides an initial platform upon which a Caribbean big data strategy could be built.

Date: 2016-01
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